Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Crimson Countdown: Brandon Greene
By Alex Scarborough
During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.
Brandon Greene could contribute in a utility role as a redshirt freshman on the Alabama offensive line.
Expectations for 2013: Remember two seasons ago when Alfred McCullough was the utility man on the offensive line for Alabama, playing seemingly every position when the need arose? That could be Greene's role in 2013 as one of the top reserves on the line. The former four-star prospect redshirted the 2012 season but will have a chance to fill in at both guard and tackle because of his size at 6-foot-5 and 307 pounds.
Best-case scenario: Starting left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio gave some insight into Greene's progress when he told reporters this spring that the redshirt freshman is "doing so much better from last year," and that "his hands are where they’re supposed to be, his footwork is good, he looks really good right now." While the starting five appears to be nearly set with the brothers Kouandjio on the left side, Ryan Kelly at center, Anthony Steen at right guard and Austin Shepherd at right tackle, if one or more of them were to go down, Greene would have a chance to step in and possibly start.
Worst-case scenario: There will be plenty of competition on the offensive line, however. Isaac Luatua, Kellen Williams and Alphonse Taylor return to Tuscaloosa determined to gain more playing time and newcomers Leon Brown and Brandon Hill expect to make an impact as well. Coach Nick Saban said Greene has a bright future, but he'll have to earn every rep under new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal, who is asking his offensive linemen to do more this year by understanding how to play multiple positions should the need arise for some creative maneuvering with personnel.
Future impact: Greene might not make the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman, but there should be plenty of opportunity in 2014 when Steen graduates and Kouandjio is faced with the decision to stay in school or leave early as a likely high first-round draft pick. With a full four years of eligibility remaining, Greene has plenty of time to make his mark as a member of the Crimson Tide.